Chapter 9 -
the prophet of God?
If we consider the
possibility that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, of course the Mormons
themselves believe in it. They may regard him as the most important man on
Earth after Jesus.
However, if we
look at the life and teachings of Joseph Smith, we see several reasons to
believe that he was wrong and a false prophet. This can be proven in the light
of the following:
Deceased spirits. Firstly, we
should note that Smith was repeatedly dealing with spirits that pretended to be
deceased, such as John the Baptist, Jacob, John, Moses, and Elijah. He was
given the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek and other revelations by them.
However, it is
good to understand that the Bible warns us about dealing with deceased spirits
that are, as a matter of fact, evil spirits. Even if these spirits were to
appear as apostles and good spirits, there is reason to believe that they are
evil spirits. The Apostles of God would certainly not break His commandments,
nor would they start giving new teachings. Instead, the deceased and seer
spirits – in other words evil spirits with whom Smith must have been in
connection – can do things like this:
- (Lev 19:31) Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I
am the LORD your God.
- (Deut 18:10-12) There shall not
be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through
the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or
11 Or a charmer, or
a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and
because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before
Doctrine. The teachings of
Joseph Smith differ from the ordinary teachings of
Christianity, which means that he has numerous teachings
that have nothing to do with the Bible (polytheism, etc.). We have
already proven this in the earlier chapters. One reason probably is that he was
in connection with the above-mentioned evil spirits and angels, through
whom he got his new teachings. One characteristic of false prophets is
indeed that they teach doctrines which differ from the word of God
and receive revelations from angels that, however, are not angels of
- (Gal 1:8-9) But though we, or an
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have
preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other
gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
- (2 Peter 2:1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who
privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
- (1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into
The life of Smith. When studying the
life of Joseph Smith, we cannot understand how he could have in any way been an
example for others. For example, he shot two men during the latter part of his
life and had a very bad reputation that resulted in 1834 in 62 residents
of the town signing an petition in which they complained about immoral behavior
of his family and stated that they should no longer enjoy the appreciation of
The persona of
Smith is described by the following statement he said about himself. Has any
prophet of God ever spoken like this? This statement clearly shows Smith’s
pride and how he considered himself to be of great value:
I have more reasons to boast
than anyone ever. I am the only man who has ever been able to keep the whole
church together since the times of Adam. Most have stood by my side. Neither
Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus were able to do it. I boast that nobody has ever
done such great work as I have done. The successors of Jesus left him, but the
Latter-day Saints have never left me. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church,
part VI. p.408-409). Translated from the Finnish text.
The unfulfilled prophecies. Joseph Smith is
called a prophet, but it is a rather questionable status for him. If we look at
his prophecies, we see that his skills of foreseeing future events were not in
any way of a very high level. For example, Uuras Saarnivaara has described in
his book how Smith gave false prophecies on several occasions:
According to what standards can
Joseph Smith be tested?
The first one is
this: Were his prophecies fulfilled?
We have seen
that this usually was not the case.
that the Mormon saints could get a region called Indepence in Jackson County,
Missouri, "for everlasting inheritance" (the Doctrine and Covenants
57:5) . However, they only
got to be there for a few years. Smith predicted that wars would appear that
would start in South Carolina and be shed over all nations (the Doctrine and
Covenants 87:1-4). This prophecy did not come true. The civil war, caused by
the question of slavery started indeed thirty years later, but the outcome
differed a great deal from the prophecy of Joseph Smith.
in 1833 that Zion (in Missouri) will not shake in its grounds even though its
members will be scattered by harassment of its enemies, and that those who
remain – the ones pure at heart – will return and build the ruins of Zion (the
Doctrine and Covenants 101:17 ). This never happened but "Zion" was
forced to be moved elsewhere.
In 1834, Smith
predicted that the Mormons would immediately start gaining a victory over their
enemies and that the scattered would return to their land of inheritance and
build the ruins of Zion (the Doctrine and Covenants 103:5 13). This never took
place. The Mormons lost and were forced to leave the land of "Zion".
in 1836 that Moses appeared to him and Cowdery, and left them the keys for the
gathering of Israel from four parts of the world and for the leading of ten
tribes from the Northern country (the Doctrine and Covenants 110:11). Cowdery
was expelled from the Mormon Church and Smith lost his life without having
anything to do with the gathering of Israel. This took place much later,
without any help from the Mormons.
The same year,
Smith announced that the Lord will give the town of Salem into the hands of the
Mormons and that there will be treasures of gold and silver in ample
measure for them (the Doctrine and Covenants 111). Nothing of the kind took
Smith received a
revelation in Nauvoo in 1841 that in a house that will be built there will be a
place for him and his descendants from generation to generation forever and
ever (the Doctrine and Covenants 124:55 60). Partnerships were also promised to
some others in the same house, "from generation to generation".
However, they were only allowed to be there for a few years, Smith himself only
a very short period.
examples of how the prophecies of Smith, time after time, remained unfulfilled.
Some of the things he predicted may also have come true: when someone predicts
a lot, sometimes he will accidentally hit the nail on the head. (6)